Businesses increasingly recognize the urgency behind their net zero goals. Record-breaking temperatures and weather extremes are testing the resilience of communities around the world as global emissions have hit a plateau. It’s clear that sustainability efforts need to accelerate — and there’s no better tool to help organizations achieve their goals than technology. 

But that doesn’t mean taking action is easy. 

Kyndryl, in collaboration with Microsoft, recently released the findings of the Global Sustainability Barometer, a study reflecting the perspectives of more than 1,500 global sustainability leaders. While 85% reported that sustainability is strategically important to their organization, only 16% have integrated sustainability into their business strategies. Further, 80% of organizations acknowledge technology’s power in achieving their sustainability goals, yet only 37% believe they are currently using technology to its full potential.

Kyndryl’s new sustainability partnership with Microsoft aims to narrow the gap between sustainability intention and action by enabling customers to fully harness the power of technology. 

Here, Faith Taylor, Global Sustainability and ESG Officer at Kyndryl, and Michelle Lancaster, a Senior Director at Microsoft, where she leads Global Sustainability Go to Market Strategy, discuss why Kyndryl and Microsoft make a complementary team when it comes to supercharging sustainability efforts. 

Why are hyperscaler partnerships essential to achieving sustainability goals?

Taylor: We know collective action will be needed to solve climate challenges. So, our partnerships are about combining strengths so that we can actually scale global sustainability solutions. We’re committed to helping our customers accelerate their sustainability efforts — and we’re proud to partner with Microsoft to make this happen.

What does this partnership between Kyndryl and Microsoft mean for customers?

Lancaster: As we look at the universe of partners we work with, we were excited about the opportunity with Kyndryl. There’s a great deal of trust between our companies. Kyndryl provides a strong backbone in data management and data organization that allows us to help customers around the world make the most of their investments. These capabilities are going to be essential as we work together to guide customers to the future with new technologies such as AI. Businesses are using AI today to help automate sustainability measurement, but they have an opportunity to move toward predictive analytics that assess scope 3 risks, forecast energy consumption and anticipate potential risks such as natural disasters. This technology is going to be a game-changer for sustainability.

Taylor: The partnership will leverage our decades of experience building and managing the mission-critical infrastructures for the world’s leading companies. This means we can tailor sustainability management solutions to customers’ unique ESG reporting, security and architectural requirements. By combining resources, we can provide customers with an end-to-end solution that enables them to achieve their net zero goals.

How is Kyndryl providing ESG consulting to help customers?

Taylor: As a result of our decades of experience managing mission-critical systems, we’re able to help customers not only gain visibility into their IT estates, but use AI and machine learning to reduce emissions, report on sustainability benchmarks and analyze data to optimize resources. We also serve as trusted advisors through Kyndryl Consult, which enables us to engage customers in transforming their IT strategies to become more sustainable — from conducting IT emissions assessments across hybrid environments, to developing emissions reductions plans by leveraging cloud and AI, to implementing designs and providing ongoing managed services. We can guide customers in their journeys and help them achieve long-term goals — no matter the starting point.

Why is data essential to achieving sustainability goals?

Taylor: This partnership is ultimately about helping customers get to the heart of their data, so they can quantify their emissions, understand their usage and make more impactful sustainability decisions. Then we can implement solutions together that directly reduce their carbon footprints. In addition, we have the opportunity to co-innovate solutions to help customers make smarter decisions about how they manage their sustainability programs long term.

There’s growing excitement around how data and AI can accelerate sustainability efforts. Why should organizations invest in AI technology for sustainability?

Lancaster: Data and AI can ensure businesses feel confident in their sustainability decisions. We know bringing complex data sources together can be a heavy lift for customers. By building data estates with automated inputs, we can help customers more transparently and efficiently achieve their compliance goals. And beyond reporting, advanced ESG data intelligence can deliver insights that give businesses assurance that they’re making the right sustainability decisions to accelerate progress. It’s about having control over — and confidence in — the path ahead.

What are some key factors driving the increased focus on sustainability among businesses?

Taylor: There is a transformation underway. Business leaders today need to keep up with changing regulations. They also know that neglecting sustainability poses financial and reputational risks. But they also increasingly see sustainability as a catalyst for growth and new business opportunities. Customers, employees and investors are among the top advocates for sustainability, according to the Sustainability Barometer. And many professionals — especially those of younger generations — want to work for companies that have clear environmental goals.

What’s next for Kyndryl’s sustainability partnership with Microsoft?

Lancaster: This is just the beginning. But I'm confident that 2024 is the year that the IT department will start to emerge as the hero in sustainability.

To learn more about Kyndryl’s sustainability offerings, visit

Featured Leaders
Faith Taylor

Global Sustainability and ESG Officer, Kyndryl

Michelle Lancaster

Senior Director, Global Sustainability Go to Market and Strategy, Microsoft